Lawyer of the Week: Amjad Malik
Linda Tsang | June 10, 2010
Amjad Malik, a solicitor-advocate at the Rochdale firm Amjad Malik Solicitors, acted pro bono for three Pakistani students in a deportation appeal hearing at a Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London and won the appeal against deportation in the case of Shoaib Khan.
What were the main challenges in this case and the possible implications?
Ten Pakistani-national students were arrested on April 8, 2009, in Operation Pathway because they were considered to be a threat to national security. No charges were brought and they were later released to the UK Border Agency, which initiated deportation proceedings.
SIAC allowed the appeal of Shoaib Khan [and two other students represented by the lawyer Gareth Peirce] on all the allegations on the ground that there was a risk of torture on deportation to Pakistan.
What was your most memorable experience as a lawyer?
Ensuring that the three appellants I acted for could give evidence via video-link from Pakistan, with possible far-reaching implications in similar cases.
What was your worst day as a lawyer?
In 2001, after receiving a judgment in the House of Lords in the case of a Muslim cleric (Rehman), who won his deportation appeal in SIAC, my house was stoned early the next morning. It was a shattering experience and I can only say that I was only doing my job.
Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
My father played a pivotal role in my academic progress -- and my wife is a solid rock who has supported me for the past 18 years. As we acted pro bono in this case, she sat behind me while I appeared alongside five QCs.
Why did you become a lawyer?
A passion to fight injustice in any shape and formÍ and I was fascinated that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn early in his life.
What would your advice be to anyone wanting a career in law?
A lawyer’s job is important and difficult and one must be ready to do pro bono work because it is part of the package — to do a little extra for society: to serve yourself as well as others.
If you had not become a lawyer what would you have chosen and why?
A journalist reporting on human rights abuses all around the world. Reporting requires sheer hard work and advocacy and there is a sense of satisfaction after each report, which is similar to concluding a case.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I was a lawyer for Oldham Citizens Advice Bureau from 2000-03 and I hope to have some future role working for a charity in the area of human rights, or at the UN.